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For the uninitiated, playing daily games on DraftKings can be an enjoyable experience, but equally sobering is the fact that season-long knowledge does not always translate to success in the daily space. Footballguys will bring you a series of value- and strategic-based selections from a number of seasoned daily veterans throughout the NFL season. Herein is another edition of “Tipandpick’s Tips and Picks,” where we will examine the salaries of players at each position on DraftKings and make value-based recommendations for both your cash games and tournaments.
Below you will find a list of recommended players for both formats. GPP players generally have high-upside, but are too risky for cash games; cash game players are consistent with high fantasy floors. In some instances, the value for a player is so strong, he may fall into both categories…let’s have a look.
In order to help you build winning rosters, let's walk through some of the observations that I have made while doing my research for DraftKings this week. As you build out your lineups on DraftKings, try to consider the following commentary, which revolves around game strategy and how we will want to take advantage of what the masses are doing when they construct their own lineups.
REVIEWING WEEK #1 and "DELIVERY:" Having played NFL DFS at a fairly high level for the better part of 5+ years, I have never encountered a week where so many highly rostered players delivered on their salary. And not only delivered, but exceeded expectations. In cash games, I hope that you did well, as many of the players who excelled in Week #1 were recommended in this article; in GPP contests, however, I recommended that you consider avoiding groupthink and instead get away from players who were rostered at unreasonable levels. It turns out that, at least last week, that was poor advice, as a majority of the players rostered at > 20% reached or even surpassed GPP levels of fantasy production. The result was a series of scores that this author has never encountered in NFL DFS; cash game and GPP paylines both exceeded ~ 125% of their typical scoring. The lesson to be learned for new players to the space is "Hey, this is easy!" But the lesson for you and I is to remember that it took five years for that level of across-the-board success for the 'chalk' to hit and it could be another five years until we see it again.
Please remember that last week was an aberration. An outlier. An anomaly. Moving forward, you can expect a return to the norm, which includes some highly owned players delivering fantasy goodness, but many of them delivering fantasy disappointment. For those of us in the know, we will continue to roster the chalk players we truly like and go underweight on those crowd favorites who we suspect could underperform. It is a simple approach that too many people never learn and it is why the majority of tournament players fail over the long-term. With that in mind, let's talk about a few players who might fit the bill and deliver us to the promised land on Sunday afternoon.
Let's take a deeper look into some of the players who I will be targeting for my cash game and tournament rosters this weekend. A short summary follows each respective table to fill in the gaps that led to the respective recommendations; that text represents only an overview of the methodology and rationale that goes into each recommendation.
|NAME||SALARY||% ROSTERED||CASH RANK||GPP RANK||NOTES|
|Jimmy Garoppolo||$6000||10%||1||1||Bounce-back spot for Jimmy vs. defense that allowed 48 to Jets.|
|Patrick Mahomes II II||$6100||8%||2||4||Steelers offense could force Mahomes to air it out for 4 quarters.|
|Josh Allen||$4600||<1%||3||10||200 yards passing & a TD will get it done for cash. Avoid in GPPs.|
|Ben Roethlisberger||$6900||9%||-||2||Big Ben at home is a thing. Chiefs secondary is suspect.|
|Matthew Stafford||$6100||3%||-||3||Will be underowned due to MNF meltdown. Potential shootout.|
|Sam Darnold||$5100||3%||-||5||Still early, but first game was impressive. Price is right.|
|Philip Rivers||$6700||4%||-||6||Will be rostered at 10% the rate of his RB = leverage play.|
|Tyrod Taylor||$5900||5%||-||7||Prime matchup vs. NO, who yielded 50 FPs to Ryan Fitzpatrick.|
|Tom Brady||$6500||3%||-||8||Fair price & low ownership. If anybody can beat Jags D, it's Brady.|
|Alex Smith||$6000||6%||-||9||IND secondary is suspect. Favorite stack is with Jordan Reed.|
- Fresh off a disappointing opener that saw him toss three interceptions versus only one touchdown, Jimmy Garoppolo looks to rebound against a Lions defense that yielded 48 points to a Sam Darnold-led Jets squad on Monday Night Football. Garoppolo's struggles in Week #1 were not entirely surprising, as the matchup against Minnesota, one of the league's premiere defenses, on their home turf was a lofty task. If not for a dropped would-be touchdown pass to George Kittle, Garoppolo's fantasy day would have been saved. That said, he gets a perfect spot to recover against the Lions at home on Sunday. Detroit allowed Sam Darnold to complete ~ 80% of his passes in his NFL debut and now have to travel multiple timezones to play the Niners on their home turf on a short week of preparation.
- A DFS darling after his 28.3-point performance against the Chargers in Week #1, Patrick Mahomes II II will look to stay hot versus a Steelers secondary that went untested in rainy Cleveland last Sunday. In his first game as the unquestioned starter in Kansas City, Mahomes looked the part, slicing through the Chargers' above-average secondary and using Tyreek Hill's ridiculous speed to his advantage. When the Chargers double-teamed Hill, Mahomes found his secondary receivers and did so with ease; he finished the afternoon with an efficient 256 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. On Sunday in Pittsburgh, we could be looking at a back-and-forth slugfest featuring playmakers with little defense to slow them down. Mahomes will likely be the highest-rostered quarterback on the slate on Sunday, but his ownership will not be prohibitive in any format and the Steelers secondary is not a reason to get away from him this week.
- Josh Allen will be thrust into the unenviable position of leading the Buffalo Bills offense after Nathan Peterman was quickly demoted following yet another disastrous performance. Having spent a top-ten pick on Allen in this year's draft, the Bills have high hopes for his NFL prospects, but we should remember that Allen has almost no NFL experience at this point in his career. Expect the Bills to lean heavily on high-percentage passing plays and possibly some scrambling from Allen, who finished with 26 rushing yards in one half of football last weekend. Purely a cash game punt play, Allen needs 180 passing yards, a touchdown, and 20 miscellaneous rushing yards to achieve the requisite 3x value; his upside, however, is limited and he is not recommended for tournament play.
- For tournament play, both Ben Roethlisberger and Matthew Stafford look to bounce back from dreadful Week #1 performances that saw them combine for seven interceptions versus only two touchdowns. First, Roethlisberger returns home where he has historically excelled to match up against a Chiefs defense that yielded over 400 passing yards to Philip Rivers just a week ago; look for Roethlisberger to exploit personnel matchups, particularly Antonio Brown lining up across from Steven Nelson and Orlando Scandrick, neither of whom belong in the same sentence as Brown. Next, Stafford will assuredly be spending time with Offensive Coordinator, Jim Bob Cooter, to change the Lions' hand signals that were picked up by the Jets defense and exploited en route to a 48-17 romp over Detroit in the season-opener. Simply put, if the opposing defense knows the plays an offense is running before the ball is snapped, it becomes impossibly difficult for the quarterback to overcome; Stafford has a trio of excellent receivers and faces a 49er secondary that did nothing to slow down Kirk Cousins in his Viking debut last weekend. Both of these games (PIT/KC and DET/SF) have shootout potential, which raises the upside for all quarterbacks involved. The PIT/KC game will have the higher ownership across the industry, which makes rostering Matthew Stafford a bit more interesting for game strategy reasons. Given the complete mess of a backfield in Detroit, the entire Lions offense could feasibly run through Stafford, to boot.
- Outside of the games already mentioned in this space, Sam Darnold is interesting GPP fodder after the rookie displayed poise in his NFL debut against the Lions. Darnold remains cheap at only $5.1K and faces off against a Dolphin unit that finished 2017 as the 29th DVOA pass defense. Certainly, the rapid evolution of Xavier Howard is reason for pause, but Bobby McCain and Minkah Fitzpatrick are not complementary pieces and can be exploited. With the 7+ hour game disrupted by lightning and compounding injuries to Marcus Mariota, the Dolphins secondary was not truly tested last week. Enter Sam Darnold, who was efficient in his debut, completing 16 of 21 pass attempts for 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns (14.8 DK points) in a game where he was not asked to do much because of the Jets' comfortable lead throughout the game. If Miami can put points on the board and keep this game close, as Vegas projects, Darnold needs only another 5 fantasy points on top of last week's output to reach GPP value.
|NAME||SALARY||% ROSTERED||CASH RANK||GPP RANK||NOTES|
|Tevin Coleman||$5300||31%||1||3||No Freeman = RB1 volume for RB2 salary investment.|
|James Conner||$6700||34%||2||2||36 touches in Week #1. Still too cheap for role.|
|Alvin Kamara||$9500||23%||3||7||Fresh off 3 TDs, he is a model of efficiency & priced accordingly.|
|Christian McCaffrey||$7000||14%||4||6||Loss of Greg Olsen likely increases CMC's role as receiver.|
|Melvin Gordon||$7400||21%||5||4||Should see heavy volume as 7.5-point favorites vs. BUF.|
|Lamar Miller||$5400||4%||-||1||Redzone usage and volume make 4x value very achievable.|
|Kareem Hunt||$6200||7%||-||5||Leverage play away from more popular Mahomes-Hills stacks.|
|Alfred Morris||$3600||6%||-||8||Goalline role last week & improved matchup vs. Lions on Sunday.|
|Adrian Peterson||$5500||9%||-||9||Veteran ran well in opener. Volume + goalline usage = upside.|
|Todd Gurley||$9200||23%||-||10||As 2-TD home faves, Rams should feed Gurley early & often.|
|James White||$4500||6%||-||11||The only non-question in the Pats backfield. 9 targets in Week #1.|
|Jay Ajayi||$6300||3%||-||12||No Sproles could mean additional volume for Birds' goalline RB.|
- Devonta Freeman will miss Week #2 with a knee injury, which thrusts additional volume towards Tevin Coleman at an RB2 price point. Offered up at only $5.3K, Coleman will be the week's highest-rostered running back (alongside James Conner) and the decision is merited--in only 3 games without Freeman, Coleman's rushing attempts more than doubled (8.2 to 19.0) and his fantasy production increased an average of 50% in those contests. Our staff experts are projecting anywhere from 15-20 DraftKings points for Coleman against the Panthers, numbers that would confer 3x value on his modest price point. As 6-point home favorites, Coleman should get all the action he can handle in this matchup and it would not be surprising to see him surpass 20+ fantasy points if he is able to cross the endzone, ball-in-hand.
- Coming off a game that saw James Conner touch the ball 34 times, it is difficult to get away from him this Sunday against the Chiefs. Conner is still probably at least $1K underpriced for the type of volume that Coach Mike Tomlin gives his running backs and given the Steelers' 29.5-point implied team total, Conner should be in line for yet another big game. Forget his ownership, jam Conner into your lineups in all formats and move on.
- The only team with a higher implied team total than the aforementioned Steelers is the Saints, who host the Browns following a surprising loss to the Bucs in their opener. That loss, however, was not a reflection on the New Orleans offense, which posted nearly 500 yards of total offense and scored 40 points, 4th highest on opening weekend. Alvin Kamara was arguably the focal point of the Saints' attack, collecting 17 touches split almost equally between rushing and receiving and scoring on 3 different occasions. Concerns about Mike Gillislee absorbing a goalline role were unrealized after the new addition fumbled away a defensive touchdown in the second quarter; Gillislee did not see another snap after that fumble, further bolstering Kamara's usage. The matchup against the Browns is excellent considering they allowed James Conner to accrue almost 200 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in his first start as a Steeler last week. The only question is whether the opportunity cost of spending nearly 20% of your total salary on Kamara hurts the remainder of your roster to a point where other positions suffer from productivity? If you can slot him in and feel comfortable elsewhere, do it.
- Only Adrian Peterson and Todd Gurley received more opportunities inside their opponents' 10-yard line than Lamar Miller last weekend (hat tip to fellow Footballguy, Phil Alexander). Coming into this season, we were told that Miller would absorb a bellcow role, playing on third downs, and we saw exactly that last week against the Patriots (77% of all Texans' offensive plays). This Sunday, Miller is a short favorite on the road against a Titans defense that did not do much to slow down the likes of Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake in their season-opener; Gore and Drake combined for 23 rush attempts for 109 rushing yards in a game where passing was limited due to poor playing conditions. With only DeAndre Hopkins to steal attention from Deshaun Watson, look for Miller to get continued attention and find the endzone; assuming he does, he needs only 100 all-purpose yards to reach 4x value on his reasonable salary.
- Kareem Hunt is a leverage play against the multitude of DFS players who will be looking to recapture lightning in a bottle by stacking Patrick Mahomes II II and Tyreek Hill against the Steelers. Last week, the Mahomes-Hill stack paid nearly 6x value (73.6-DK points) against the Chargers and recency bias will be in full-effect on Sunday when that same stack will be one of the most popular across the industry. A possible (and reasonable) leverage play is to hope that Andy Reid tries to minimize the likelihood of a shootout in enemy territory by feeding the reigning NFL rushing yardage leader, Kareem Hunt, with all the action he can handle. Hunt had a quiet Week #1 but possesses excellent upside, as evidenced by hitting GPP value on his current salary in 25% of games last season. Given that his ownership will be a fraction of that number, Hunt is an attractive tournament option in Week #2.
- It was admittedly a surprise to see 30-year old Alfred Morris' name prominently displayed in the box scores after Week #1, but it is what it is and we must acknowledge that the veteran caught the eye of Kyle Shanahan after Jerick McKinnon tore his ACL in the preseason. Morris is ultra-cheap on DraftKings because his involvement in the passing game is approaching zero. That said, Morris received 84% of the carries inside the redzone for the NIners last week and was minimized after San Francisco entered catchup mode in the second-half of the game. This week, the Niners are substantial 6-point home favorites and Morris has to be considered for heavier volume given the implied gamescript; if he finds the endzone, Alf makes for an excellent tournament play because his implied ownership is less than half of alternatives who have similar upside.
|NAME||SALARY||% ROSTERED||CASH RANK||GPP RANK||NOTES|
|Dante Pettis||$4000||12%||1||4||Loss of Goodwin thrusts Pettis into lead role at only $4K.|
|Antonio Brown||$8800||31%||2||1||Mr. Reliable gets plush matchup against soft KC secondary.|
|Demaryius Thomas||$5600||9%||3||14||Price has dropped, but targets were there in Week #1.|
|Randall Cobb||$4600||10%||4||15||If Davante Adams sits, Cobb is WR1 for GB at modest price.|
|Jarvis Landry||$6300||8%||-||2||Volume-monster has everything in favor for big day in Big Easy.|
|T.Y. Hilton||$6700||5%||-||3||Inefficient opener will drive down ownership unnecessarily.|
|Golden Tate||$6500||5%||-||5||15 targets in opener & < 10% owned vs. SF DBs? Yes, please.|
|DeAndre Hopkins||$8000||8%||-||6||Pats minimized Nuk. Do not expect Titans to do it, too.|
|Michael Thomas||$8600||18%||-||7||Week #1 numbers were off-the-charts. Possible repeat vs. CLE.|
|Nelson Agholor||$6100||5%||-||8||No Alshon means double-digit targets again for de facto WR1.|
|Tyreek Hill||$7600||16%||-||9||No reason to think that last week's display can't happen vs. PIT.|
|Chris Hogan||$5400||1%||-||10||Discounted and gets optimal coverage matchup vs. JAX.|
|Kenny Golladay||$4800||9%||-||11||2nd year receiver could be entering WR1 territory with Stafford.|
|Julio Jones||$8400||16%||-||12||ATL worked to get JJ the ball in redzone. High upside play.|
|JuJu Smith-Schuster||$6400||13%||-||13||Lowest-owned play of PIT ball-handlers. Upside is always there.|
- Due a quad injury that will sideline Marquise Goodwin, the 49ers' second-round pick in this year's draft, Dante Pettis, will get the start at wide receiver. Pettis, described by our Matt Waldman as "...an underrated receiver prospect with more upside than characterized" was targeted 5 times last week after Goodwin left the game and he managed to pull in 2 of those passes for 61 yards, taking one to the endzone on a 22-yard strike from Jimmy Garoppolo. Pettis gets a plus matchup across from Nevin Lawson, leaving Pierre Garcon to contend with Darius Slay, the Lions' best coverage cornerback. At only $4K, Pettis represents a solid cash game play with GPP upside in a contest that could go back-and-forth if the respective offenses live up to their potential.
- Antonio Brown does not need extensive justification, so let's keep this short: Coming off a week that saw Brown pick up where he left off (16 targets, 9/93/1 stat line), there is no reason to get away from Brown against the Chiefs who allowed two 100-yard receivers in their first game of 2018. The salary is high, but not prohibitive. Roster him accordingly.
- After touting Emmanuel Sanders in this same space last week, you might be surprised to see Demaryius Thomas taking his place this week. The truth is that Manny Sanders performed as we expected last week, but Demaryius did not watch Manny excel from the sidelines; instead, Thomas collected 10 targets of his own (versus 11 for Sanders) and finished with 6 receptions for 63 receiving yards and a score. Assuming that Case Keenum continues to target these receivers in bulk, both will remain viable weekly fantasy options moving forward. This Sunday, Thomas gets the nod because he is offered up at a 10% discount from Sanders, yet carries a similar scoring floor.
- On this week's video edition of Tips & Picks (produced by RotoGrinders; please watch!), I outlined the reasons I love Jarvis Landry's tournament potential against the Saints. First, Landry is obviously meshing well with Tyrod Taylor despite both of them playing for different teams in 2017; they displayed chemistry throughout the preseason and carried that over into Week #1, where Landry finished with 15 targets and a 7/106/0 stat line in weather that was not conducive to the passing game. This week, Landry will avoid the all-world coverage of Marshon Lattimore, who will likely shadow Josh Gordon on the perimeter, leaving Landry to contend with Ken Crawley who was toasted for 7 receptions, 129 receiving yards, and a pair of touchdowns while in coverage against the Buccaneers last Sunday. Ordinarily, we might avoid Landry in tournament formats because he is not known for having a big redzone presence, but his continued evolution into this offense is exciting and offers upside he did not possess in Miami.
- Despite Andrew Luck looking the part (39 for 53, 319 passing yards, 2 touchdowns) in his long overdue return to the field last week, it seems that the DFS world has forgotten what T.Y. Hilton can do with Luck at the helm. Hilton was targeted an impressive 11 times against a solid Bengals defense last week, but managed only 5 catches for 46 yards (and a score). Our projections are suggesting that Hilton will be less than 10% owned, which is criminal for the type of upside that Hilton brings to the table with Luck under center. The matchup against the Redskins is excellent because Vegas suggests that Indy will be trailing and forced to throw the ball. With Chester Rogers taking over the primary slot role, Hilton finds himself on the perimeter more often and could have to line up across from Josh Norman more often, but we should expect the Colts to avoid that scenario as much as possible and instead sacrifice Ryan Grant to Norman's superior coverage instead.
- The truth is that any of the Lions receivers are in play as GPP candidates on Sunday, but a slight preference goes to Golden Tate who led the Lions in targets (15) and was the only receiver to hit paydirt against the Jets on Monday Night Football. Tate will get a plus personnel matchup by lining up across from KWaun Williams, who was one of the lower-end slot coverage backs in the league in 2017. A reasonable pivot away from Tate is Kenny Golladay, who is almost $2K cheaper, but it will come with twice the ownership rate, so build your rosters accordingly.
|NAME||SALARY||% ROSTERED||CASH RANK||GPP RANK||NOTES|
|George Kittle||3800||20%||1||1||Could be Garoppolo's fave target without Goodwin on perimeter.|
|David Njoku||3000||5%||2||3||Talented TE remains too cheap for his role and upside.|
|Zach Ertz||6100||4%||3||5||WR1 role at reduced price point. 10 targets in Week #1.|
|Ricky Seals-Jones||2900||4%||-||2||Rams' DBs funnel action to middle. Just ask Jared Cook.|
|Jordan Reed||5000||7%||-||4||Scored in his 1st game with Smith who loves his TEs.|
|Jared Cook||3600||9%||-||6||DEN defense made Will Dissly a household name last week.|
|Rob Gronkowski||7000||10%||-||7||Always in play. Still underpriced for current role w/out Edelman.|
|Travis Kelce||5900||8%||-||8||Discouraging results with Mahomes, but PIT matchup is juicy.|
|Jack Doyle||4000||12%||-||9||Luck targeted him 10 times in opener. Fairly priced.|
|Jonnu Smith||3100||7%||-||10||Absorbs Delanie Walker role. Question is QB play & chemistry?|
- There are three cash game tight end options listed in the above chart and all are justifiable for various reasons. That said, it is George Kittle and then everybody else at tight end this week. Kittle was targeted 9 times last week, but "only" finished the day with 5 receptions for 90 yards; the word "only" is special because it takes into account the fact that Kittle dropped a possible 80-yard touchdown pass and Jimmy Garoppolo missed him on yet another where Kittle had found space in the secondary. If Kittle makes either of those catches, his salary is probably 20% higher than we get it on Sunday. For that reason, Kittle is the primary cash game option who also possesses 4x+ upside in a game that could surpass 50 or more total points.
- If Kittle's salary does not fit your price point, you can feasibly drop down to $3K to nab David Njoku against the Saints or go all the way to $6.1K to nail down Zach Ertz against the leaky Buccaneers secondary. Njoku is a candidate to break out as an elite tight end in 2018 and his price will assuredly not stick around the $3K level. The first-round pick out of Miami in 2017 displayed flashes of brilliance in his rookie season and looked the part yet again this preseason. With a more experienced quarterback at the helm in Tyrod Taylor, Njoku is primed to have some big games when the Browns are forced to throw the ball, as they are projected on this particular weekend.
- Yet another option is Zach Ertz, who shares the primary receiving duties for the Eagles, alongside Nelson Agholor, while Alshon Jeffery heals from rotator cuff surgery. In their home opener, the Eagles targeted Ertz on 10 different occasions and he pulled in 5 of those attempts for 48 yards. Ertz could potentially see additional action on Sunday against the Bucs, as Darren Sproles (hamstring) is expected to miss this game and his targets (7 from last week) will have to be redistributed. The only drawback to Ertz is his elevated salary, but his implied role justifies the price point if you have the available salary.
- On Monday night, we saw Jared Cook finish with a gaudy stat line of 9/180/0 on 12 targets against the Rams in a blowout loss. There are a lot of similarities between that game and the one that Ricky Seals-Jones will play this Sunday in Los Angeles. First, Seals-Jones will match up against the same opponent, the Rams, whose elite perimeter cornerbacks (Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters) funneled action towards the interior of the field on Monday night. Next, the gamescript sets up similarly, as the Cards are 14-point underdogs coming off an 18-point loss to Washington in their home opener; thus, Sam Bradford should be dropping back to pass early and often in this one. Finally, Seals-Jones is offered up at an extremely attractive price at only $2.9K, where a meager 4/40/1 stat line would yield nearly 5x (or more) on his salary.
- Jordan Reed makes another appearance in this space after scoring in his inaugural game with Alex Smith. Reed was targeted 5 times, reeling in 4 of those attempts for 48 yards and a score, as the Redskins coasted to an easy 24-6 victory over the Cardinals. Washington is looking to make it two in a row against the visiting Colts on Sunday and Paul Richardson Jr, who was second on the team in targets in Week #1, is questionable with a shoulder issue; if Richardson cannot go, bump up Jordan Reed (and Chris Thompson) because Richardson's targets will need to be redistributed.
- Lastly, you might consider chasing the points with the aforementioned Jared Cook against another defense that bled yardage to the tight end position last week. The Denver Broncos allowed Will Dissly to chart 3 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown after Dissly was projected to be nothing more than a blocking tight end. Looking back, it may not be entirely surprising, as the Broncos field two high-end cornerbacks in Bradley Roby and Chris Harris who, like the Rams, funnel passes to the middle of the field. If we were to see a repeat of last week where receivers were not getting space between them and Denver's coverage on the periphery, Cook could have a back-to-back upside performance.
|NAME||SALARY||% ROSTERED||CASH RANK||GPP RANK||NOTES|
|LA Rams||3700||8%||1||2||Cards scored 6 vs. WAS. Tough to see them doing anything here.|
|NY Jets||2500||7%||2||1||Salary-saver. Improving unit against questionable offense.|
|LA Chargers||3600||12%||3||3||Gets a reprieve from KC to BUF. Expect better output in Week #2.|
|Texans||2600||8%||-||4||Titans are without 2 OL and have real questions at QB.|
|Eagles||3400||4%||-||5||Do not expect 48 points from TB & Fitzpatrick again this week.|
|Broncos||3300||7%||-||6||Selection is more about OAK offense than DEN defense.|
|Vikings||2600||5%||-||7||In play every week. Rodgers' health is primary question.|
|Patriots||3000||2%||-||8||Blake Bortles is always good for a pick-six here and there.|
TEAM DEF OVERVIEW:
- Our Steve Buzzard projects only one defense to be rostered in more than 10% of tournament lineups this weekend, which tells a story: There are no favorites and you can justify just about any team defense for your GPP lineups. At the top of this list are the Rams, who flustered the already flustered Oakland Raiders late on Monday night. On the ground, Marshawn Lynch and company could not collectively surpass 100 yards and Derek Carr did no better, throwing 3 picks on their way to a paltry total of 13 points. This week, they will get a Sam Bradford-led offense that looked lost under new Head Coach Steve Wilks and managed only six total points against a much less proven Redskins defense in Phoenix. It is difficult to see things improving on the road against the Rams in Week #2.
- To save some salary, you might consider the Jets in their home opener against the Dolphins. The Jets impressed on Monday night when they shut down the Lions' potent passing attack, allowing less than 40 yards rushing and only garbage time passing yardage when the game was out of hand. Now, the Jets likely do not have the Dolphins hand signals ahead of this game (as they reportedly did against Detroit), but they have drafted to improve defense for several years now and those seeds are finally blossoming. Meanwhile, Miami brings a vanilla offense to town that does not instill fear in the heart of the Jets' players, nor those of us who may roster them at an inexpensive $2.5K price point.
- Do not be afraid to give consideration to the Texans despite being on the road. Houston's secondary is their weakness and there will be teams to exploit that deficiency, but it likely will not be the Titans. First, the Titans look to be without two starting offensive linemen (Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin), which does not bode well for whichever quarterback the Titans decide to put under center. Marcus Mariota (elbow) is questionable after getting banged up against Miami and Blaine Gabbert is waiting in the wings, neither of whom are threats to attack the Texans secondary. This is particularly evident in light of the fact that the Titans will be without their star tight end, Delanie Walker, for the remainder of the season due to a broken ankle suffered in the team's first game. The combination of these factors makes the Texans an enticing GPP flyer at only $2.6K and less than 10% ownership.